Teen Project Under Threat

It's been helping troublesome kids in Swindon for over 10 years, but a mentoring project could be about to go under.

SMASH - The Swindon Mentoring and Self Help - is in desperate need of financial support after it's Lottery funding came to an end in March.

Currently they have 36 volunteer mentors out in Swindon supporting teenagers, that's compared to the 70 they had last year. 16 more volunteers are waiting to be trained up.

Staff - who are based at the Link centre - have cut their hours to save on money.

Regular events that SMASH runs, including a 5-a-side football team, aren't able to meet at the moment because of the uncertainty over their future.

Set up in 1999, the project aims to help 13 - 18 years old achieve their full potential. They often deal with youngsters who are having trouble at home or at school, have low self esteem, involved in anti social behaviour or just want someone to talk to. Most of the young people appreciate that their mentor is unpaid and is meeting with them because they are genuinely interested in helping them to achieve their own goals.

Any business who can help support SMASH should contact project manager Rob Chappel on 01793 879297 or e-mail: rchappell@swindon.gov.uk.